Friday, January 23, 2009



I am inspired and have been inspired by many as I travel about
throughout this world. Sometimes inspiration is as simple as
a stranger’s smile when I’m dragging bags and I think
I just get can’t on another plane. Or it’s dignity,
like the dignity of this este -lucv or turtle person I met
at the grounds during our new years celebration this summer.
He was walking along headed in the direction of the creek
when my grandchildren discovered him. He humored them once
he found out they weren’t brandishing sticks or rocks.
We all gathered around to visit with him.

I’m beginning to think that the worst thing imparted by western
education and religion is the hierarchy of value as it pertains
to all persons. As a child, and as someone who was raised up
within the borders of the mind and dreams of the Creek Nation
I knew este -lucv as someone walking about the earth as myself.
We were the same size spiritually. This was the same with other
creatures, like dog, deer or the birds that shared the air.
And as I went about on the earth I came to know that the plants,
stones and other elements occupy consciousness and space and have
a dignity of as much weight as human-people have accorded
themselves. When I went to public school in Tulsa,
a very good public school with many of our tribal citizens,
and began to spend more time in that system of books
and thinking, I began to forget.

Seeing este -lucv this summer with my grandchildren
I terribly missed my older cousin John Jacobs of Holdenville.
He always had such tenderness for the este -lucv citizens
of our lands. Once while traveling near his home we picked
up a turtle who was about to get hit in the middle
of the highway. The turtle’s beaked mouth was stained
with berry juice. I won’t forget that spirit of vnokeckv
as John lifted up the turtle, talked to him and carried him
off the road.

Joy Harjo October 2007

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